ONE of the pre-tournament favourites losing to the minnows.

We’ve seen it before… Senegal’s shock win over then-reigning champions France in 2002 springs to mind.

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Fast forward 20 years and this time it was Argentina throwing away a one-goal lead to lose to Saudi Arabia.

If Lionel Messi and Co are to stand any chance of reaching the knockout stages, they’ll need a result in their second match.

But they face another potential banana skin in Mexico – who famously helped KO Germany from the 2018 World Cup – and with Poland yet to come, Argentina really are up against it.

SunSport takes a look at what to expect from the pivotal game… including the all-important scoreline prediction.

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How are they getting on?

Argentina: Not well. Not well, at all.

Tipped for glory in Qatar, the came up against a Saudi Arabia team who sent shockwaves through the footballing world after coming from behind to beat Argentina 2-1.

The result leaves the South Americans’ dream of winning the trophy in serious doubt in what could be Messi’s final World Cup.

Read the full Argentina vs Saudi Arabia report

Mexico: Widely expected to finish third in the group, the Concacaf giants secured a creditable draw in their opening game.

Slightly lucky that Robert Lewandowski missed his penalty, but they’ll take the point and look to build on it here.

Read the full Mexico vs Poland report

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Any injuries to worry about?

Argentina: No injury concerns, but changes are likely abound.

Manchester United star Lisandro Martinez will almost certainly start, while City ace Julian Alvarez and Paulo Dybala will be pushing for a spot in the XI.

Mexico: Similarly for Mexico, there are no injury worries.

But, having failed to break down Poland, there could be changes in the team as Wolves star Raul Jimenez and veteran Andres Guardado hope to get the nod.

Who will be the star men?

Argentina: Lionel Messi… how could it not be?

The South Americans are packed with superstar talent – but only one is a truly generational – if not once-in-a-lifetime – megastar.

Messi can win matches on his own and after the kick up the backside that was the Saudi Arabia loss, this could prove to be a revenge tour.

Mexico: Guillermo Ochoa, the veteran goalkeeper.

Always shines on the biggest stage, the World Cup, and he’ll need to be in top form to keep the likes of Messi, Lautaro Martinez, Dybala and Co out.

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What’s the head-to-head?

The two nations have played each other a staggering 35 times in history, with Argentina leading with 16 wins and just five defeats.

Argentina are unbeaten in the last ten matches against Mexico, including three straight victories.

They last met at a World Cup in 2010, with Argentina winning 3-1.

SunSport prediction

Argentina 3 Mexico 1



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